What’s the Difference Between Mock Strawberry and Wild Strawberry Plants?

Updated: Jul. 26, 2023

Tricked by a mock strawberry plant in the backyard? Here's how to tell them apart from the sweet and juicy wild strawberries.

Strawberries and summer go together like ice cream and hot fudge. You can’t have one without the other! Whether you grow your own strawberries or run to the grocery store to stay stocked, it’s inevitable that you’ll find these bright red berries everywhere. They’re juicy, sweet and perfect all summer long in fresh strawberry recipes.

But you might have also seen mock strawberries—little red berries on your lawn that look vaguely familiar. They’re definitely not the sweet fruit we’re all used to.

What Is a Mock Strawberry?

Mock strawberries, also known as “false” strawberries, are foraging berries. You may find a mock strawberry plant in your backyard, so they’re often called backyard strawberries, too. They bear a striking resemblance to wild strawberries with narrow, acorn shapes and a bright red body. You may not be able to tell the difference if you don’t look closely.

Mock Strawberries vs. Wild Strawberries

Mock Strawberry Vs Wild Strawberry plantsGetty Images (2)

Reddit user u/KodaKodama posted a picture asking about mock strawberries. Here are the main things you should look out for:

  • Mock strawberries have yellow flowers while wild strawberries have white or slightly pink ones.
  • Mock strawberries grow upwards while wild strawberries grow down. They may be difficult to spot among the leaves.
  • Mock strawberries have a bumpy texture while wild strawberries have a nearly flat surface, with seeds that give a small amount of texture. This is one of the most obvious tells.
  • Mock strawberries taste like close to nothing. They’re watery, bland and seem to lack any flavor at all. Wild strawberries, on the other hand, have that strawberry taste that we know and love.

P.S. Have you ever seen a strawberry sprout?

Can You Eat Mock Strawberries?

While mock strawberries are definitely bland, they are edible and harmless. If you have a mock strawberry plant in your backyard, it’s a harmless weed. If anything, the berries are cute reminders that nature is packed with all kinds of interesting plants. Have you heard about white strawberries?